Yesterday one of our tattoo family members decided enough was enough and spoke out about the regular racism he has to endure to get through Australian airports.
If you know @capillitupou , you know he is a person who likes to put his head down and get on with things, and isn’t used to publicly voicing anything personal or political.
So to do this was a hard thing for him.
We decided we would stand with him in solidarity and support him and his message of his experiences. Since posting his anger at his treatment, he has had literally hundreds of other Māori and people of Pacific Island descent come forward to him to say that they have had the same type of racist treatment when visiting or leaving Australia.
Change doesn’t happen unless people speak up and we just want to support every word he has said.
Here is Capilli’s statement in full:
I’m really sorry about this but I will be canceling my upcoming trip to Sydney.
Yesterday when I was travelling home from Australia I was stopped by Police at the airport. When I asked them why, they said I fit "a profile", I asked what the profile was and they said "Pacific Islander with tattoos". This is not the first time this has happened, and I knew the "profile" was just an excuse - shortly afterwards the same police officers questioned a women wearing a headscarf.
Over the years I have travelled a lot and this same or similar situation has happened several times in Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales. It hasn't happened to me in other countries, or other airports, not LAX, not Heathrow, only in Australia.
The racism and racial profiling is disgusting and makes me feel less than. I have endured so much of it in Australia and yesterday was the final straw.
I have made the decision that I won't be returning to Australia for the time being - I feel unwelcome, and I'm not going to put myself through it anymore.
I know it's not all Australian's, I have so many best friends that are Australian, but arriving and departing is just too much, it's not nice and I'm worn down by it.
I'm sad about this decision, but I feel strongly about it and need to take a stand.
I am proud to be Samoan and Māori.
I hope to be able to return to Australia one day in the future, but in the meantime you're welcome to come and visit me in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Capilli is one of the best tattoo artists out there and one of the nicest guys you’re ever likely to meet. If you would like to book in with him for a stunning tattoo, then contact us today.